The reactions continue to pour in from the tennis world after the sensational disqualification of World No. 1 Novak Djokovic from the US Open Grand Slam tournament on Sunday. Djokovic was disqualified from the US Open for accidentally hitting a line judge in the throat with a tennis ball late in the first set of in his fourth-round match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
It marked an incredible end to his unbeaten streak in 2020 - and also ended his campaign for an 18th Grand Slam title at a tournament where all the remaining players on the men's side are still looking for their first Grand Slam title.
Tim Henman and Novak Djokovic say US Open decision to default Djokovic was correct
Tim Henman told Amazon Prime, "He was not aiming for the official, but you're responsible for your actions. There was no other consequence.
We saw a couple of points earlier when he whacked the ball into the advertising hoardings. He was frustrated." Henman, himself has been at the receiving end of such a disqualification. He was disqualified from a doubles match at Wimbledon in 1995 when he accidentally struck a ball girl.
"It’s amazing for me to talk about this because it happened to me at Wimbledon in 1995. It was that moment of frustration, hit the ball away when I wasn’t looking and I hit a ball girl in the ear. It happened to me at the biggest tournament in the world and clearly is not a pleasant situation to be in.
I remember going back to the locker room in a state of shock and then going into the press conference. It was probably one of the busiest press conferences I’ve ever been into and the first question was: ‘How do you feel, the first person in 120 years to be disqualified at Wimbledon’.
I was shocked, I was embarrassed and I was very disappointed”. Meanwhile, former World No. 1 Mats Wilander told Eurosport that he also believed that the decision was correct, although he does agree it was a complete accident.
"You are not allowed to do that. It’s as much bad luck as you can have on a tennis court. He didn’t just roll the ball back to the ball kid, that’s the bottom line. He hit it harder than he intended to, obviously a complete accident.
It was a sign of frustration, yes. A little bit. But it doesn’t matter, you are not allowed to do it." “We should also hope the linesperson is okay, it looked like she could hardly breathe. I’ve seen the replay now, and it is a pretty obvious default and there is nothing you can do.
The only thing I’d question is why the umpire didn’t look at a videotape before making a decision, but there’s no question that is a default”. Shortly after the incident, Novak Djokovic has posted a statement on social media in which he apologised for his actions.